The Crown: 7 Things To Remember About The Netflix Show Before Season 4

After what seems like an eternity, The Crown Season 4 is set to premiere on Netflix November 15, 2020, nearly a year to the day since the third season of the biographical drama about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II premiered on the popular streaming service. It is safe to say that most of us who enjoyed the riveting and highly emotional events of the show's third season did so over the course of a few days (or in one day as is the case for some of us), meaning that some of what happened has been placed away deep in our memory banks.

Fear not, because I've put together a list of the biggest moments in The Crown Season 3 as well as a little refresher of the events that took place in the show's first two seasons. And so, as we prepare to dive back into the lives of Britain's royal family, let's take a step back and remember the events that transpired from the start of the show in 1947 all the way up to 1977, which is where things will kick off when The Crown returns. That being said, there will be some spoilers about the first three seasons of the show, so you have been warned.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown

The First Two Seasons Of The Crown Dealt With Queen Elizabeth II And Prince Philip Finding Their Roles

It has been four years since The Crown debuted on Netflix and gave millions of viewers and unprecedented look into the lives of Queen Elizabeth II, her husband, Prince Philip, and the rest of the royal family. Throughout much of the first two seasons, Claire Foy's Elizabeth and Matt Smith's Philip spent a considerable amount of time becoming comfortable in their respective capacities, and spent nearly as much time (or at least Philip did) trying to reconcile the fact that unlike traditional relationships, Elizabeth, the wife, was in fact unning the show.

This was most notably seen throughout Prince Philip's arc in The Crown Season 2 when he set out on his months-long royal tour, Queen Elizabeth's suspicions that he is cheating, the divorce of Philip's best friend private secretary, and how all of these events affect the couple in both their private and public lives. By the end, Philip has settled into his new role as "His Royal Highness Prince Philip."

Olivia Colman in The Crown

Queen Elizabeth Was Deeply Impacted By The Aberfan Disaster In The Crown Season 3

One of the most heartbreaking episodes of The Crown Season 3 (and the entire show and probably any show released in 2019) was "Aberfan," which focused on the 1966 Aberfan mine disaster that claimed the lives of 144 residents of the small village, including 116 children whose school was buried as the mountain slope high above collapsed.

At first, Queen Elizabeth II, now being played by Olivia Colman, shows little to no emotion regarding the disaster and doesn't visit until she receives a letter criticizing her lack of sympathy. After visiting the small village and seeing the scene with her own eyes, Elizabeth goes through a profound change and begins weeping because of the death of all those children, creating one of the most meaningful moments of the entire series.

Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies in The Crown

The Crown Season 3 Saw The Deaths Of Winston Churchill And The Duke Of Windsor

The Crown Season 3 also featured the deaths of two of the biggest figures in Elizabeth's life: former Prime Minister and her mentor of sorts Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) and her uncle and the former King of England, the Duke of Windsor (Derek Jacobi). Elizabeth's final meeting with the dying Prime Minister is one of the first things we see in the first episode of the third season and then following his death sees the Queen navigate a world in which the person who helped her the most is no longer there.

The Duke of Windsor, Elizabeth's uncle, is featured prominently in the show's first two seasons but takes on a lesser role in Season 3. Still though, Elizabeth's meeting with the former King Edward VIII is one of the most consequential moments of the entire season as it sees the two coming to terms with the events that led to his abdication and her assumption of the crown following his brother and her father's death. And with his death closes a controversial chapter in the House of Windsor.

Helena Bonham Carter in The Crown

Princess Margaret Fell Deeper Into A Hole Of Depression In The Crown Season 3

Princess Margaret, portrayed by Vanessa Kirby and then Helena Bonham Carter, is one of the most tragic characters in the The Crown, and her situation doesn't necessarily get any better in Season 3. Throughout the show's third season, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II finds herself in a loveless marriage, waking up in the middle of the afternoon after nights attempting to outrun her personal demons, and dealing with the fact that she is the younger sister of a queen who didn't really want to be a royal in the first place.

This all comes to head in the Season 3 finale when Margaret, following the outing of her relationship to man who's not her husband, attempts to end her own life. The attempt is not successful and Elizabeth ends up visiting her younger sister and helps her talk through her personal demons to find a way out.

Josh O'Connor and Olivia Colman in The Crown

Prince Charles Became The Prince Of Wales In The Crown Season 3

Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) received more screen time in Season 3 that further established the Prince of Wales leading into the final three seasons of the royal drama. The biggest moment for Prince Charles is undoubtedly his investiture as Prince of Wales and the three months of training and study he goes through under the guidance a Welsh nationalist professor whose teaching has a major impact on the young prince.

As Prince Charles goes through his studies, learns the Welsh language, and learns about the ins and outs of Welsh life, he becomes more sympathetic to the region and shows his support for Wales during his speech. This small act of rebellion against Queen Elizabeth II builds Charles up as a fully realized person, even if she does her best to squash it.

Josh O'Connor and Emerald Fennell in The Crown

Camilla Shand Was Introduced In The Crown Season 3

Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell), who in real life would become a major aspect of the failure of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage, is introduced as the young prince's love interest in The Crown Season 3, putting in motion the story that will surely become a major aspect as the show continues on. And when the royal family will have nothing of Charles and Camilla being together, the prince is sent off overseas and the love of his life is married to another man. But this is really just the beginning of the story between the two future husband and wife.

Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson in The Crown

The Crown Season 4 Will See The Introduction Of Princess Diana And Margaret Thatcher

The Crown Season 4 will feature much of the same cast as was featured in Season 3 of the royal drama, but will also feature the addition of two of the biggest figures in the latter half of the 20th Century in the United Kingdom: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana. Thatcher, who served as Britain's first female prime minister starting in 1977, will be portrayed by Gillian Anderson as the strong and fearsome world leader is elected into power. Princess Diana will be portrayed by Emma Corrin as Lady Spencer enters into a relationship with Prince Charles and eventually marries him to become Diana, Princess of Wales.

The show's fourth season will go all the way up to 1990 and will also include Charles and Diana's two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry as their parents' marriage starts and begins to crumble. This will undoubtedly set the tone for things to come in the final two seasons of The Crown.

This about catches us up with the major plot points of The Crown Season 3 as we all prepare for the start of the second half of the hit Netflix series. For more information on The Crown and other shows coming to a TV near your these final two months of 2020, make sure to check out CinemaBlend's Fall TV schedule.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.